The Follow Ups - ...Don't Like You Either (Cover Artwork)

The Follow Ups

...Don't Like You Either (2019)

Punk and Disorderly

The Follow Ups hit the ground running with their debut LP ...Don’t Like You Either. Like their previously released EP, The Half Of It, this record offers a mix of sounds ranging from Ramones- influenced Lookout! bands to ‘90s era skatepunk. But, with this new record the band’s sound and songwriting has matured to produce an album that will catch your attention and hold it from start to finish.

With snotty vocals and clever lyrics, many of the songs maintain a ‘50s vibe, oftentimes offering up imagery from the Archie comics, Happy Days, and other nostalgic scenes from bygone times. And typically, these images are supported by Chuck Berry-esque lead riffs and a Ramones-style backbeat (key changes and half-note slides and all), but faster. Opener “Nancy Pelosi” with lyrics like “she don’t wanna walk around the block with me” and “Judy’s Got a Boyfriend” are great examples of this. It should be noted that “Nancy Pelosi” is a not a political tune, just a fun, catchy song.

The band maintains this somewhat romanticized view of the past with horror themed lyrics in songs like “Love Letters from the Black Lagoon”, “Crystal Lake”, and “Monsters”. All three songs are catchy as hell and could simply be interpreted as lyrical remakes of classic horror flicks. But they could also be interpreted as metaphors for mental illness and the struggles that come with that.

The band is clearly influenced by the Ramones, particularly on “Hey Yo (Ballad of Razor Ramone)” among others. This song name drops every member of the punk rock pioneers, but it is actually about the WWF wrestler, Razor Ramon. But other times, the depth of punk rock influences shine through on songs like “Idiocracy”, “Depth of Character”, and “No Remedy”. While the band’s sound doesn’t change too much on these songs, it is clear that the group has enhanced their sound with minor sonic details like subtle but notable bass lines, clever drum beats, and octave-riddled guitar fills. Often times, the Follow Ups remind me of the most melodic songs of Lagwagon or Good Riddance. The last track on the album, and probably my favorite song on the record, is a great example of this. “Burn it Down” is a perfect last track that causes a sense of urgency until you get to the break down at the end. And once the song is over, it makes you want to flip the record and listen to the whole thing again.

My favorite part about The Follow Ups is that the songs sound familiar and unique at the same time, and that’s particularly clear on ...Don’t Like You Either. This is a great record from beginning to end. Fans of the band will definitely love this album. And with this record, the Canadian foursome is sure to pick up some new fans.